Festshrift for Maurice Robinson

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, May 18, 2015.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    #1 John of Japan, May 18, 2015
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  2. John of Japan

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    First of all, some notes about the format.

    I really like the cover. I think it looks great! The editing is more problematic. The book really needed a final editor and at least one more proofing. For one thing, there is no title page. A professional editor would have fixed that immediately! Normally in an English book you have the title page, then on the back of it you have the copyright and bibliographic info, but in this case the title page is non-existent and the copyright page is on the right page where the title page should be.

    Secondly, the table of contents starts on the back of the copyright page, which is also non-standard. The table of contents should start on a right page rather than a left one. Then, the chapter titles are all in capital letters and boldface. No thought seems to have been given to fonts, etc.

    Again in the table of contents we have the titles of the essays but not the names of the authors. You have to go to the essay itself to find out who wrote it. When you do that, all you have is a name, with no information about the author. This is a shame, because brief biographies were provided by all of the authors, and so were available. Some of the authors I know and some do not. I would love to know who each author is and what their qualifications and experience and professional positions are.

    One more note about the format. It is printed in what is almost a letter size format, 8 1/2 by about 12 1/2. The printer is in Germany, so maybe that is common there, I don't know. I don't object per se to the size, though it makes it a little hard to carry places with you. However, unfortunately there is very little margin on the pages (maybe only 1/2 inch), so if you want to make notes in the book, all you have is the top and bottom.

    On the plus side, the price is very reasonable--but looking at Amazon I see that it is not currently available. Alas!
     
    #2 John of Japan, May 18, 2015
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  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    To the moderators: I meant the title to be "Festschrift for Maurice Robinson," but hit the "post" button too soon. May I have it changed, please? Thank you.
     
  4. John of Japan

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    First of all comes a short Preface by the co-editors, Mark Billington and Peter Streitenberger, describing how Dr. Robinson became a textual critic, his academic training, his teaching career and his Byzantine Priority position. "Dr. Robinson has been engaged in various forms of teaching and research ministry for over thirty years. He currently is Senior Professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he has served for the past 22 years" (p. 1).

    His further accomplishments are listed, including his pioneering role in computerized study of the Greek NT. "In this regard, beginning in the mid-1980's, he created electronic editions of a number of New Testament texts, with grammatical lemmatization and parsing data" (ibid). So if you use a Greek NT in Bible software, chances are you are benefiting from Dr. Robinson's work.

    Not mentioned in the Preface is one of Dr. Robinson's most recent products, an Analytical Lexicon of New Testament Greek, edited with Mark A. House. I own this and it is a useful tool, correcting many of the errors of the original Analytical Lexicon and some of its revisions.

    About the editors: Mark Billington is a former student of Dr. Robinson in textual criticism, and Peter Streitenberger is a German amateur textual critic. The festschrift was in honor of Dr. Robinson's 66th birthday. It was meant for his 65th birthday, which is the norm, but one thing led to another with the publisher being changed, etc.

    Expect a review of the book in a major journal this year by a major Greek scholar and textual critic.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    The first essay is by Timothy Friberg, and is titled, "A Modest Explanation for the Layman of Ideas Related to Determing (sic--that poor proofing!) the Text of the Greek New Testament." It is an introduction to textual criticism for the beginner from a Byzantine Priority viewpoint.

    Friberg is an excellent scholar and linguist. He and his wife are translators and teachers with Wycliffe. He has produced with his wife Barbara the Analytical Greek New Testament which I have used with profit, and the two have also produced the ANLEX, or Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament with Neva Miller. I don't have the lexicon in hard copy, but have used it often through my BibleWorks and Bibloi software, since the meanings are well done and resonated easily with my Japanese translation partner.

    This essay is 19 pages of pure gold. I hope Dr. Friberg brings it out as a pamphlet someday, or even expands it into a complete book. He starts with an introduction to the manuscripts, their paper, ink and writing styles. Next, he explains "What New Testament manuscript groups exist today." He then explains why differences in the mss exist. He goes on to describe the two main text types, after which he describes the eclectic method of textual criticism.

    The meat of the essay is, of course, when he explains the basics of Byzantine Priority, explaining how we evaluate and use internal and external evidence. He follows this by answering objections to the theory, after which he gives a summary. This is followed by a useful glossary of 37 terms, something few books on the subject provide.

    All in all, I'd say that Friberg's essay alone is worth the price of the book.
     
    #5 John of Japan, May 20, 2015
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  6. Squire Robertsson

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    I think you nailed the proofing prblems when you noted it was published by a German printer. I get the feeling those responsible went for low cost and ended up with cheap.
     
  7. Greektim

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    I would love to get my hands on this... especially this article. Dr. Robinson's article is quite heavy and I struggled through it.
     
  8. John of Japan

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    And cheap is not good in honoring a scholar with stature.
     
  9. John of Japan

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    I wish I could tell you where to get a copy. I don't know how many were printed or whether the Amazon lack of copies means the printing was sold out. Anyone?
     
  10. John of Japan

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    The next essay is "Scribal Habits and the New Testament Text," by Andrew Wilson. Wilson has a website on textual criticism at: www.nttext.com. His position is labeled as Reasoned Conservatism in David Alan Black’s book, New Testament Textual Criticism, but Wilson’s preferred term is Balanced Eclecticism. This view follows Harry Sturz, who believed that the Byzantine text should be equal to the Alexandrian in textual criticism. (Sell your UBS 4 Greek NT and get The Byzantine Text-Type and New Testament Textual Criticism by Sturz).

    Wilson is a thoughtful amateur, not a widely recognized and credentialed scholar, but has done some good work. He is outside the mainstream—not a bad idea in textual criticism. Here is where he describes himself: http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2005/12/andrew-wilsons-links.html

    His essay builds on previous work by Dr. Robinson in his 1892 PhD dissertation, Scribal Habits among Manuscripts of the Apocalypse, as well as the E. C. Colwell work, Studies in Methodology in New Testament Textual Criticism. Both of these works deserve much more attention in the field, and maybe will get it as textual scholars examine scribal habits more. Other scholars have begun working in the area, suc as J. R. Royse.

    What makes these stud3ies important in textual criticism is that their results go directly the Hort-Westcott/eclectic canon that the shorter reading is the best, as well as other canons. In my opinion, that alone should make eclectic scholars revise their position. A huge percent of the time, the UBS/Nestles Greek NT goes for the shorter reading simply because it is shorter. Another canon opposed is that the harsher or more difficult reading is best.

    Here are some key quotes from Wilson's essay:

    "The main finding of Royse was that, contrary to the traditional canon 'Prefer the Shorter Reading,' scribes actually tended to omit more than add. Among the six major papyri studied, there were 127 additions to 312 omissions" (p. 21).

    He quotes Robinson: "Most scribes--and especially those of the later 'Byzantine era'--were extremely careful, their few corruptions being mostly accidental and the deliberate alterations being mos stylistic changes of a minor nature" (p. 25).

    Further into the essay, Wilson has three very informative pages on "The History of the Transcriptional Canons." This is helpful to the reader in knowing how accurate the Hort-Westcott/eclectic canons are in actually determining the original text.

    Wilson's essay is fairly long, so I'll stop here. But let me say, it is well worth reading.
     
  11. John of Japan

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    The third essay is by John R. Himes, a prof of ancient languages and Bible at a small Baptist college. He was a missionary to Japan for 33 years and sometimes goes by the moniker "John of Japan." :smilewinkgrin: He is a Bible translator but actually an amateur at textual criticism, though he has studied it for 29 years. Himes has enjoyed greatly his interactions with Dr. Robinson on the subject, and his son was the grader for Dr. Robinson, so somehow he got included in this project, and was happy to honor Dr. Robinson in this way.

    The essay by Himes is "A Translator Takes a Linguistic Look at Mark's Gospel." In the essay he approaches textual criticism with the linguistic tool of discourse analysis. In the Introduction he shows the importance of this tool by giving the example of how the Japanese did not understand correctly the discourse called the Potsdam Declaration, and suffered the devastation of two atomic bombs for their failure.

    In the next section, "Discourse Analysis," Himes defines and describes the tool, which has come to mean any process by which a discourse is considered as a whole instead of as the consistent parts.

    The rest of the essay has the title, "Using Discourse Analysis in the Textual Criticism of the Gospel of Mark." Himes shows how Dr. Robinson has used discourse analysis in textual criticism in defending the longer ending of Mark in the book edited by David Alan Black, Perspectives on the Ending of Mark.

    Himes then continues with a discourse analysis of the usage of euthus/eutheos ("immediately") in the book of Mark. As Himes says in a footnote "Discourse analysis examines the functions of words in a discourse as opposed to lexical studies which examine the semantic content of a word, or researches the usage of a word in the contemporary literature" (p. 42, footnote 21).

    The main result of this discourse analysis is to determine that "The most common function of euthus/eutheos in Mark's discourse is to punctuate actions taken by Christ" (p. 43). The UBS4 Greek NT omits two times the word occurs in the Byzantine Textform (2:2 & 5:42).

    The surprising part of this essay is that there is one place where UBS4 inserts the word in brackets when the Byzantine omits it in 7:35. This is not only contrary to the normal function of the word in Mark's discourse, but is actually very weak in both internal and external support.

    The essay by Himes is certainly not worth the price of the book, but the author hopes it will bring attention to and increase the use of discourse analysis in textual criticism.
     
    #11 John of Japan, May 22, 2015
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  12. John of Japan

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    The next chapter is "Early Textual Recension in Alexandria: An Evaluation of Fee's Arguments," by T. David Anderson, who is a translator with Wycliffe in Cameroon. Anderson is answering an article by Gordon Fee, "P75, P66 and Origen: The Myth of Early Textual Recension in Alexandria," in Studies in the Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism, ed. by Eldon Epp and Gordon Fee. This is the shortest essay in the book, being only five ages including the “References.”

    The first paragraph lays down the gauntlet, which is the Byzantine Priority view that there was an early Alexandrian recension of the Greek NT in which the Alexandrian scholars edited the NT along the lines of similar editing of Homer’s work. It says, “In the debate between the relative merits of the Byzantine or Alexandrian text types of the New Testament, scholars who maintain that the Byzantine text type is closer to the autographs have suggested that the Alexandrian text type was due to a deliberate editorial inclination to make texts more succinct for stylistic reasons, eliminating sentences or words that were regarded as superfluous” (p. 49). From there, Anderson quotes schlars on both sides, in particular noting that D. A. Carson’s view of Fee’s work in Carson’s The King James Version Debate.

    The next section is “Summary of Fee’s arguments.” I won’t take time to explain it all here, but this part is somewhat technical. At any rate, Anderson is duly respectful of Fee’s work, but also shows internal contradictions in Fee. In one place Anderson writes, “This last remark is again basing his argument on a dubious assumption that we can predict what sort of changes a scholarly editor would make” (p. 51).

    The last section is, “Evaluation.” In this section Anderson points out some weaknesses in Fee’s evidence, such as the idea that “if a feature is present in only one particular book, it must be original, not recensional.” This begs the question that the early form of the NT was in separate books.

    All in all this is a good essay, though too short. Hopefully Anderson can expand this essay and write more like it in the future.
     
  13. Rippon

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    Anderson makes a number of assertions without proof. At least you didn't produce anything of substance to buttress the argument.

    You would agree, wouldn't you, that P75 is quite reliable and ancient (175-225). Well, it agrees with the Gospels of Luke and John in Codex Vaticanus (300-325). So that means that those texts of the Gospels within Codex Vaticanus (B) are at least a century earlier than B itself.

    That means there is a stable history of the Alexandrian text-type.
     
  14. John of Japan

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    I'm simply writing a review, not explaining everything. He gives good arguments against Fee.

    If you want to discuss Byzantine Priority, start a thread and I'd be happy to oblige you, but it would have to wait a week since I'm heading tomorrow for a self-defense conference in FL then a Bible translation conference in IN.

    Your date for P75 is that of the editors, Victor Martin and Rodolphe Kasser, which means it is out of date (Metzger and Ehrman, p. 58). :D UBS3 has "early III" for P75.

    And no, I don't agree that it is "quite reliable." It has corruptions from the Sahidic, not to mention the Alexandrian mess. (The Alexandrian text type has far more variations than the Byzantine.)

    Agrees to what extent? It also agrees with the Byzantine in some readings. Your statement is very general in terms of textual criticism.

    The next essay in the Festschrift is "The Relationship of the Vaticanus Umlauts to Family 1," by Edward Gravely, and hopefully I can get to that today. It is quite instructive about the famed Vaticanus.
    So? Who disagrees with that? What is not stable is the variation within Alexandrian mss.

    No offense, but if you were over your head in Bible translation theory, you're way over your head in textual criticism.
     
  15. Rippon

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    A number of unsupported assertions.

    Perhaps you don't know that early third century means 201-225.
    Among scholars P75 is deemed quite accurate and reliable. It is particularly noted for that as compared with P66 for instance.
    Sahidic is a Coptic dialect. Please inform us why you believe that it has corruptions.
    The abbreviation for manuscripts is MSS not mess.
    Proof please.
    According to Gordon Fee, 92% of John in P75 agrees with B. And 94% of Luke in P75 agrees with B.
    P75 is classified as an Alexandrian text-type --Category 1.
    You are confusing general with specific. I was being specific. P75 is dated to the early third century. Its agreement with the gospels of John and Luke in B to such a high degree means that B, produced a century later, was based on much earlier MSS.
    You contradict yourself. Since the Alexandrian text-type is very stable there is not the extent of variation that you have declared for years. It is the earliest and best textual witness.
    The operative word is if. I was not.
    We shall see. You'll have to answer my statements in this post to see if you can keep your head above water.
     
    #15 Rippon, May 28, 2015
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  16. John of Japan

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    I may discuss this when you actually have read the essay.
    Exactly my point.
    Not among most of the scholars I hang out with. (Your "appeal to authority" is poorly done.)
    That's not what I said. But see Metzger & Ehrman, 59, 110, etc., and other sources.
    Don't need to. It's common knowledge.
    Yeah, quite a disparity.
    No I don't. I'd much rather discuss textual criticism with the scholars, or at least someone with actual training like Jonathan, GreekTim, etc.
     
  17. John of Japan

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    Unfortunately, I was unable to get to the next essay today. I leave tomorrow to preach and hold a self defense seminar in FL, immediately after which I will be in a Bible translation meeting in IN.

    Please wait patiently for the next installment about ten days from now. You will learn what an umlaut is and why Vaticanus has hundreds of them. Yes, it's about the messy mss of Alexandria. :type:
     
  18. Greektim

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    Can you imagine writing a dissertation just on that???

    Atta boy Dr. Gravely!!!
     
  19. Greektim

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    That actually sounds like the blending of two fascinating fields. I wanna read that chapter too!!!
     
  20. Greektim

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